Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Joys of Camping

Those of you who have read my previous posts know that our camping trips this summer haven't exactly unfolded very smoothly. We have experienced robberies, four-wheeler accidents, rain, lack of supplies, and a variety of other mishaps that have caused our camping experiences to be less than ideal...but we have always embraced our fiascos as adventures and laughed away our worries.

I must admit that I did not experience the same kind of positivity on our recent Labor Day camping escapade. We decided to head up to the Uinta Mountains to celebrate Labor Day weekend, but we began our drive without any specific destination in mind. After hours of driving we settled into a beautiful and isolated area out in the middle of nowhere. Once we picked out the perfect spot to begin our fun, we had just enough time to set up our tent, start a fire, and appreciate the scenery for a few minutes before we were hit by one of the most evil rainstorms I have ever encountered. Our cabana was blown to smithereens and we spent the majority of the evening hiding in the car. The tent held up extremely well considering the downpour it was forced to endure, but I still experienced a steady drip of water on my face all night long.

Camping September 01

The only silver lining to our camping trip was the discovery of a little cafe and campground a few miles from the campsite where we had almost drowned during the night. We stumbled into the cafe for breakfast the next morning and ended up laughing enough to almost make up for the hurricane from the night before. Defa's Cafe was straight out of an old movie, offering an abundance of banjo music, funny old men with beards, and paintings of cowboys galore. We all ordered hot chocolate and each of us got our own special mug. I was given the Irish mug because apparently I look like I'm from Ireland, and Easton got a Valentine's Day mug because I think our server had taken a liking to him (wink wink).

Camping September 02

This picture was taken during our attempt to flee the area as quickly as possible. Yes, that's SNOW.Camping September 03

This may seem like a reasonable time for our story to end. However, we are all gluttons for punishment and decided to try another camping trip the following weekend.

We went to the same area in the Uintas and discovered a spot that was beyond perfect...except for a few minor details. There were articles of clothing strewn around the campsite and we even found shoes and socks scattered in a couple of places. Creepy, you say? The campsite was a veritable scene from The Blair Witch Project!

To make matters worse, we discovered this pillow hanging from a tree in the center of the site:Camping September 04

In case you can't see the pillow clearly, there is an angry stick figure drawn on the pillow with slash marks across the head and neck. This kind of thing would probably send most people screaming in the other direction...but since we're a bunch of crazy, danger-seeking kids...this is where we camped for two nights. That pillow was staring at me the whole time.

Even though we were staying in such a spooky campsite, we had perfectly ideal weather for the entire trip. We went four-wheeling and did a lot of exploring, and as usual we ate enough food for a whole army.

Camping September 05 Camping September 06

Camping September 07

The only downside to the weather situation was the unbelievably FRIGID temperature that rolled in at night.

Camping September 08 Camping September 08

Can you tell how cold I am in this picture? I think it is quite possible that I was actually frozen to that chair.Camping September 09

In an attempt to battle the arctic temperatures, we built two fires so that we could try and keep our fronts and backs warm simultaneously. We abandoned the fires for a while to play capture the flag, which was SO fun (although I may have been on the verge of frostbite while I was out hiding in the bushes with the Blair Witch).

Camping September 10

I must say that our final camping trip of the summer was a huge success, even taking into account the freezing nights and the scary pillow. I had so much fun! I hope our good luck lasts until next summer so we can do it all over again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Motownphilly Back Again...

I'm not a huge R&B fan (in fact, I usually compare R&B music to the sound of nails on a chalkboard), but when Boys II Men rolled through Utah we were simply obligated to go. The cheap price and close proximity were the major selling points of the concert, and I must admit that I attended the concert without any real expectations. My lukewarm attitude was immediately blasted out of the water when Boys II Men walked onto the stage and started dancing in perfectly choreographed unison, while simultaneously singing ALL of their old classics along with a bunch of Motown hits. I surprised even myself by knowing all the words to every single song and I ended up having SO much fun!

Boys II Men 01

We all crammed onto a couple of blankets in the grassy area of the stadium because the concert was completely sold out and incredibly crowded.

Boys II Men 02

Kristen and I joined an outreach program and volunteered to take these mentally handicapped boys out on dates:Boys II Men 03
We are hoping to get some kind of tax deduction for our charitable works.